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He doesn't necessarily love his matching leather fedora and vest but he looks so amazingly cute in them. I think he secretly likes to be glamorous. I also think the world is a better place for having the ability to see these touching and important photographs forever on the internet. Everyone loves cats. And feet. And flowers. And breasts. And water drops. And the fake realism that skews your perception known as HDR. People not only need it, they love it.

 

The world is full of voyeurs and their counterpart, exhibitionists. The internet has always been a haven for anonymously exploiting our weird fetishes and desires. Ambivalence has become an accepted side effect of this anonymity. Not everything has to be sexual though. For instance, the great love of cats. People love their cats. And when Flickr was introduced in 2004 I'm fairly certain the first photo uploaded was a cat. All of this to say, Flickr has aided in ushering in the advent of the everyone-and-their-cousin brand of photographer.

 

The rise of digital cameras and the means with which to share them has exponentially alllowed the latent hobbyist or the consumate professional to quickly and easily take a snapshot — the level of expertise and quality is only limited to talent and knowledge.With Flickr , we've seen the rise of super-star photographers (who otherwise might not have had the opportunity or resources to have such large and noticeable impact). It's allowed hobbyists to learn from experts. And novices to become pros. (It's also given us cats — way too many cats.)

 

Flickr is truly social and community oriented, an avant garde in the medium. Flickr introduced the first useful and integrated functions of the "web 2.0" culture (inline editing of titles and captions, seamless "favorite" buttons and tag updates), implementing the newst javascript technologies to enhance our user experience. While other social media services wanted to give users control over the "personality" of their profiles and pages, Flickr has remained resolute to standards and predictabilty (again, allowing users to focus on the images and the community, not the music forced upon your ears or the pink and red letters that clash so horribly that your eyes bleed).

 

Flickr doesn't showcase any design or even an elegant grid display system. The site is divided into your "dashboard" — where you can see activity on your account, on friends uploads, your groups/community and what is popular and buzzing on the site in general; and your gallery — where you manage and store your images, sets and galleries. A truly "function first" site. It's neither beautiful nor customizable (apart from a few options on how to show your initial gallery page), but that point is interaction and activity and community; and it's continually shown that change for change sake isn't a good thing.

 

*DESIGN UPDATE*

It seems today Flickr has implemented a "soft" rollout of new features and design (opting for a wider layout, utilizing a wider screen width, which accounts for the overall increasing monitor resolutions). The changes are subtle, mostly organization and functional; making it easier for users to geo-locate photos, wider display photos, simplier "social" options of editing, adding to groups or sets, among other visual improvements. It is the first major design upgrade from Flickr in over 6 years (and it was much needed).